Cleaning device

Herring is a fish that the shells need to be removed before eating it

The SAK fish-shell scrapers what are they?

Everyone that is into Swiss Army Knives knows that there are some tools that many wonder what is used for and how. It is also called fish scaler or shell scaler.

I will explain my feel on this tool used on Victorinox and Wenger knives. First to mention is that there are many variations on this tool itself in history.

Some fish in saltwater or freshwater got shells on the skin and this must be removed if you are going to fry it and eat the skin. It is not comfortable to chew on shells and they do not taste well either. Some also use the scraper on fish with little or no shells or on a skin type that can be eaten without further cleaning. This is done to do a light cleaning on skin itself without a brush. By just using the scraper lightly over the skin you remove substances and dirt. Then rinse and you can fry it. It is possible to use the knife blade and the edge for this too; both scraping shells and clean the skin.

Another very interesting detail is the tip on this tool. The notch is called a hook disgorger and it is used in the old style to remove a hook from a fish and especially one in the mouth. By just pushing the hook inwards then it will come loose and you can pull it out with the help of the tip. Sometimes this is easier said than done because if the hook is in bone you need to push harder, you can also do a light twist motion. On the picture is the absolute largest type of hook that can be removed with this tool. That is with comfort and without damaging the tool. You have probably seen on old fishing gear used by the older guys that they have a stick with a notch on the tip. It is used on treble hooks or single hooks on larger gear and lures. The problem with treble hooks is when you push it in further that it may hook on again when you pull it out. A plier works best for this.

The tools on SAK are for smaller fish and it can be used inland or at sea with good result. There is also on some of them a line guide but I have not used this much.

Sometimes it is more comfortable to use the fish-shell scraper and not the blade edge to remove shells because it is designed for this and it will not damage the skin.

It is important to clean the function after use and it can take use around saltwater without any problem. Both Victorinox and Wenger are so.

A magnetic tip has been used in history!

The ruler on them can be useful…

We must not forget that this function was used a long time before the introduction of pliers on SAKs in the mid-1980s. The introduction of the plier makes it possible to remove hooks with a better control. The fish-shell scraper and disgorger continued to be on the knives and this is because of the scraper and additional functions on it I believe. SAKs are sportsmen knives and you will find fish related knives without the plier. Usually it is actually the fish-shell scraper that is used and no plier present. The combination of the scraper and scissors is extra good on fish related knives. The combinations of functions together with the scraper are extra interesting and well thought through.

The scraper works best with the right hand and the angle on it towards the fish.

Line guide update


The introduction of a line guide makes it possible to use this for hook disgorging as well. A line guide is made as a tool for distributing the line on a device. This is to prevent a line to clump. On fishing rod reels you use the thumb to distribute the line on the reel if it does not have a line guide mechanism. It would be difficult to use the line guide on SAKs and reel at the same time. This line guide i would expect can be used for more stationary devices to avoid clumping of the line and burning of the fingers.

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29.11 | 21:40

Hi, thank you very much for question. I am not sure. I know there are modders that manage unbelievable things. BR

29.11 | 17:26

Hi again trond. Was wondering if you could put scissors from the Classic SD onto a tinker? Thank you

26.11 | 16:24

Hi, thank you very much for question. The brass rivets/pins should be the same on the 91mm if same age. There could be some diff. tolerances.
BR Trond

26.11 | 16:16

Hello Trond. Are the copper rivets on the Victorinox Huntsman and the Deluxe Tinker the same? Thank you

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